Are Recalled GM Vehicles Safe to Drive?
As more information is revealed in the General Motors Co. recall of nearly 1.6 million vehicles, questions are arising about whether or not the vehicles are safe to drive.
Last month GM initiated a recall on the vehicles due to a defective ignition switch that could cause the engine to shut down while drivers are operating the vehicle.
GM has linked the faulty switch to 13 deaths while the Center for Auto Safety has alleged that 303 deaths can be attributed to air bag failures in the recalled vehicles.
Are the Vehicles Safe?
According to the GM website:
- Ignition switches may move out of the “run” position “under certain circumstances.”
- The risk of this occurring is increased by added weight on the key ring (including extra keys and the key fob) and other events that may jostle the key such as rough terrain.
- In the event that the ignition switch is not in the “run” position, air bags may fail to deploy, significantly increasing the risk of injury or death.
- GM stresses that until repairs have been made, owners should remove all extra items from the key ring, including the key fob.
In the meantime, GM is offering free loaner cars to owners until repairs can be made and a $500 cash allowance toward the purchase or lease of a new vehicle for owners who are unhappy with the recalled vehicle.
Owners wishing to use these benefits will have to request them from the dealership.
National Car Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there were 29,757 fatalities and 1,530,000 injuries due to motor vehicle accidents in 2011.
The NHTSA also lists motor vehicle crashes as the primary cause of death in Americans aged 34 and under.
Since 1966 the NHTSA has recorded 390 million cars, trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, motorcycles and mopeds recalled to correct safety issues.